Making Sense of the Nursing Home Industry
Types of Nursing Home
As senior’s age, it’s not uncommon for them to spend some time in a nursing home, either temporarily, to recover from a fall or medical procedure, or long term, as they need more care in their later years. However, there are many types of facilities that might fall under the general heading, and they provide many different types (and qualities) of care. Our Santa Clara nursing home abuse attorneys believe that understanding the differences is essential for ensuring that seniors receive the help they need at the most reasonable cost.
Retirement Homes, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and CCRCs
As the senior population has exploded, so too has the nursing home industry, and the number and size of these facilities is much different than the mom-and-pop operations that once made up the bulk of the market. While many seniors might prefer a smaller, more tight-knit community, these can sometimes be unaffordable for less-affluent elders. While some seniors might try to use Long Term Care Insurance to make up the shortfall (we’ve discussed the risks of this elsewhere), many seniors end up in large, managed facilities known as CCRCs.
A CCRC is something like the supermarket of nursing homes: everything you might need (and a lot you don’t) all under one roof. CCRC stands for “Continuing Care Retirement Community,” and the idea is that a senior can enter the facility at the low-care end of the spectrum, such as in independent living, and if their condition deteriorates or they need additional services like physical therapy or memory care, they can easily transition to those services without moving to a new home. While this certainly sounds good for everybody, our Santa Clara nursing home abuse attorneys believe that there are a number of risks that come with this type of living.
A significant number of nursing homes have been fined in recent years for over-billing patients by providing unnecessary services. The temptation to do this in a CCRC is particularly high, since they can charge more for each step up the intensive care ladder. While they make relatively little of independent living (the cost is still thousands of dollars per month), when seniors are placed into assisted living or skilled nursing, the costs skyrocket, providing an incentive for CCRCs to evaluate their residents to require more care than they actually do, and if residents in their families reject the new evaluation, they may be asked to leave the CCRC, since the facility won’t accommodate them at the lower level.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
While this behavior is certainly not universal, our Santa Clara nursing home abuse attorneys believe that it’s important for seniors to be sure that they are receiving the most appropriate care they can get. While it’s important that they are looked after by professionally trained nurses if that’s what they require, it’s also important that they be allowed to live without that level of medical intervention if they don’t absolutely need it. While a CCRC can offer a continuity of care that other facilities can’t, seniors and their families should make sure they are being treated fairly, and not just as a source of revenue.
If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse in California, contact the Evans Law Firm nursing home attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.